Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How neuroglobin protects against Alzheimer's

Date:
August 3, 2010
Source:
University of California - Davis - Health System
Summary:
The researchers developed predictions from computational modeling and validated them with biological experiments. They found that neuroglobin binds to cytochrome c and prevents it from forming an apoptosome. In Alzheimer's disease, a toxic type of protein accumulates in brain neurons and leads to mitochondrial rupture and cell death. The finding suggests that high neuroglobin levels may buffer neurons against the effect of this protein by preventing apoptosomes from forming.

A team of scientists at the University of California, Davis and the University of Auckland has discovered that neuroglobin may protect against Alzheimer's disease by preventing brain neurons from dying in response to natural stress. The team published the results of their study in the April, 2010 issue of Apoptosis.

Scientists have learned that neuroglobin protects cells from stroke damage, amyloid toxicity and injury due to lack of oxygen. Neuroglobin occurs in various regions of the brain and at particularly high levels in brain cells called neurons. Scientists have associated low levels of neuroglobin in brain neurons with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies have hinted that neuroglobin protects cells by maintaining the function of mitochondria and regulating the concentration of important chemicals in the cell. However, the exact mechanisms by which neuroglobin protects cells from dying a natural death has, until now, remained unclear.

The lead author of the study, UC Davis biomedical engineering professor Subhadip Raychaudhuri, found that neuroglobin preserves the functioning of a cell's mitochondria by neutralizing a molecule necessary for the formation of a type of protein that triggers the cell's collapse. The scientists think that the fundamental role of neuroglobin found in neurons is to prevent accidental cell death from occurring due to stress associated with normal cell functioning. Cells may protect themselves from triggering the chain of events leading to cell death by expressing a high level of neuroglobin.

Mitochondria are tiny "capsules" within a cell that make most of the raw material the cell uses to produce its energy. Mitochondria also play important roles in communication within and between cells and important aspects of cell differentiation and growth. A cell dies quickly when its mitochondria stop functioning. Various kinds of stressors, such as lack of oxygen, low nutrient levels, increased calcium levels or presence of toxic substances can cause mitochondria to rupture and emit a molecule called cytochrome c. Cytochrome c binds with other molecules outside the mitochondria to form a protein called an apoptosome. The apoptosome helps build an enzyme that degrades and eventually collapses the cell. Neural cells can survive damage to the mitochondria if apoptosomes do not form.

For their study, the researchers developed predictions from computational modeling and validated them with biological experiments. They found that neuroglobin binds to cytochrome c and prevents it from forming an apoptosome. This finding could offer new approaches to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease. In Alzheimer's disease, a toxic type of protein accumulates in brain neurons and leads to mitochondrial rupture and cell death. The finding suggests that high neuroglobin levels may buffer neurons against the effect of this protein by preventing apoptosomes from forming.

"Our discovery could lead to treatment of any neurodegenerative processes related to natural cell death. That might include patients suffering from stroke, in addition to Alzheimer's," Prof. Raychaudhuri said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis - Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Subhadip Raychaudhuri, Joanna Skommer, Kristen Henty, Nigel Birch, Thomas Brittain. Neuroglobin protects nerve cells from apoptosis by inhibiting the intrinsic pathway of cell death. Apoptosis, 2009; 15 (4): 401 DOI: 10.1007/s10495-009-0436-5

Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis - Health System. "How neuroglobin protects against Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802151321.htm>.
University of California - Davis - Health System. (2010, August 3). How neuroglobin protects against Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802151321.htm
University of California - Davis - Health System. "How neuroglobin protects against Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100802151321.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins